St Barbara’s Parish Church Complex, Krzyżanowo
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St Barbara’s Parish Church Complex

Krzyżanowo

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The monument is an extremely valuable example of a sacred complex typical of the Gothic villages in Żuławy. The well-preserved medieval church complex with a graveyard, surrounded by the original Gothic wall, was part of a dense network of parishes established in Żuławy in the 14th and 15th century.

History

The first mention of the parish in the village of Krzyżanowo (German: Notzendorf) dates back to 1319. The next mention in the foundation charter of 1330 for the nearby village of Stare Pole testifies to the existence of a church in Krzyżanowo.

The church was built probably in two stages: the chancel and sacristy were erected in 1325-1330, while the second stage included the construction of the nave in the late 14th c. or early 15th c. (shronological stratification is not clear and requires architectural research). The graveyard was established along with the construction of the church. The boundaries of the graveyard were marked with a brick wall dating from the same period. The site inspection report of 1636 described the church as a brick structure with a separate wooden tower and a steeple. In 1654, the steeple was at risk of collapse, and in 1669 it was still in bad condition. The free-standing tower was destroyed by fire in 1688; a new one was built close to the west façade of the church in 1735. On 17 January 1818, the tower collapsed, destroying partly the western gable of the church. As early as in the first half of the 19th century, a wooden bell tower was erected outside the western boundary of the graveyard. In 1857, a new porch was built to the south (the former outline of the roof is still discernible on the face of the nave).

The church in Krzyżanowo was always a Catholic church. August Walaschewski was the last pastor in the interwar period. During the Second World War, the church was not damaged and its valuable furnishings from the 17th and 18th century have been preserved to this day.

Description

The church complex is located in the north-eastern part of the historic village of Krzyżanowo, in a flat and slightly elevated area. The graveyard surrounded by a brick wall is built on the floor plan of an irregular polygon; its central part is occupied by the church. The Gothic complex (church, graveyard, and wall) is complemented by a wooden bell tower dating back to the first half of the 19th century. The bell tower is outside the graveyard wall, on the south side of the main gate. The area of the protected complex is not geodetically separated. Results of rough measurements indicate the graveyard covers an area of approx. 0.27 ha.

The topography of the plot occupied by the graveyard has not changed since the Middle Ages. The largest side of the graveyard adjoins a rural road running from the north-east to the south-west. This direction determines the overall arrangement of the complex; consequently, the longer axis of the church featuring a gate and the longer axis of the bell tower are in line with that direction. The former layout of the graveyard and quarters cannot be restored. Only a few graves and tombstones have been preserved along the west part of the wall and in the northern part of the graveyard, including classical stele of 1796, profiled post of 1740, neo-Gothic cast iron crucifixes (1825-1889). Moreover, part of the old-growth trees have survived, including maples along the west boundary, ashes at the southern boundary, and chestnuts in the northern part).

The Gothic church is a free-standing structure, built of brick. Its western inner walls feature a frame structure. It was erected on the plan of a rectangle extended by a narrower rectangular chancel; the chancel is adjoined by a rectangular sacristy to the north. The body of the church is compact. The nave, chancel and sacristy are covered with a common gable roof; the church is adjoined by small porches added later to the south and west. The brick façades are supported by buttresses; most of the windows, blind windows and portals terminate in pointed arches; the eastern gable is symmetrical, stepped, and surmounted by pinnacles and partitioned by narrow blind windows; the western triangular gable was built of demolition brick. The interior features an aisleless layout; the nave is characterised by a lowered ceiling, whose central section rests on wooden pillars; the section between the nave and chancel is surmounted by a pointed rood arch; a wall Gothic cupboard was installed to the south of the altar. The preserved lavish furnishings include the fifteenth-century painting titled “The Scene of the Crucifixion of Christ” on the southern wall, Late Baroque main altar, two Rococo side altars, and sets of statues from the 17th and 18th century.

The wooden bell tower is a post-and-frame structure, covered with a low gable roof. The wooden structure was fitted with three bells: Baroque bell from 1735 and styleless bells from 1855 and the second half of the 19th century.

The structure is open to visitors. Viewing of the building is only possible by arrangement with the parish office.

compiled by Teofila Lebiedź-Gruda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 26-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Karta ewidencyjna (tzw. biała karta): Krzyżanowo. Kościół parafialny pw. św. Barbary, autor D. Styp-Rekowska, 2008, w zbiorach OT NID w Gdańsku.
  • Lubocka M., Żuławy. Kościoły gotyckie na Żuławach, PKZ 1976-1979, w zbiorach OT NID w Gdańsku, t. III s. 14-20
  • Schmid B., Bau-und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Marienburg (Die Städte Neuteich und Tiegenhof und die lädlichen Ortschaften), Danzig 1919, s. 233-240.
  • Dehio- Handbuch der Kunstdenkmäler West- und Ostpreuβen, bearb. von M. Antoni, München-Berlin 1993., s. 445-446

General information

  • Type: church
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XIV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Bema , Krzyżanowo
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district malborski, commune Stare Pole
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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